Russia-Africa Summit July 2023: Successful, Productive, Highly Optimistic
Image: President Évariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi arrives in Moscow. If not for Russian intervention, Burundi would have fallen to Washington regime change in 2016
by PD Lawton 4 August 2023
“We are convinced that Africa will become one of the leaders of the emerging new multipolar world order, as there are all objective prerequisites for that“. -President Valdimir Putin, March 2023
The second Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Summit was recently held July 27-28, in St Petersburg, Russia. The atmosphere generated by this event is unprecedented. Against the backdrop of NATO`s Ukrainian proxy war against Russia, and aimed ultimately at China`s BRI and the BRICS alliance, this summit embodied the spirit of our new multipolar world. Russia is imbuing African countries with a sense of optimism that their economies can and will be economically successful in the near future. Critical to that, is the production of electricity, for which Russia supplies the most advanced and reliable form, nuclear power. Rosatom is currently building Egypt`s first nuclear installation, El-Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant.
Thanks to Russia, China, the BRICS alliance of which South Africa is a key founding member, African leadership`s indomitable determination to see their economies industrialized is becoming the reality of the 21st century.
Image: President of Guinea Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embaló warmly greets President Putin
Having been forced to lose decades in terms of meaningful productive development, most African nations are once more finding themselves on the brink of economic transformation just as they were in the days of so-called independence. Leadership of the time, such as Gamal Abdel Nasser, Kwame Nkrumah, Modibo Keita and Ahmed Sékou Touré and others envisaged all the prerequisites for healthy physical economies, rail and road infrastructure, mega energy projects and the manufacturing of products made from their countries resources.
Back in the 1960s, World War II proved the catalyst for Macmillan’s `Winds of Change`. South African, Ghanaian, Senegalese, Kenyan, Guinean soldiers having volunteered to fight fascism in Europe returned home to find the Allies imperial stronghold over their own countries, more unpalatable than ever.
These times in which we are smelling the toxic fumes of a decaying financial empire, are for the continent of Africa, the ending of another war, the IMF`s masked economic war against the industrialization and achieving of equal economic status of the Third World. That economic war was legislated into American foreign policy by Henry Kissinger`s NSSM 200 which stated that it was in the national security interests of America to keep Africa under malthusian conditions.
Africans have had enough of the miserly punitive sanctions imposed on some of the poorest of countries such as Burundi and Zimbabwe, the strings and chains of IMF loans caught in the ever revolving doors of debt and enough of `do as we say, not as we do`. What a relief it must be for the African presidents to speak to Vladimir Putin, not to kowtow and beg and plead and get that servile smile to service the next loan so you can at least operate the machinery of government of a country that has over the decades poured billions of dollars into the coffers of the Anglosphere’s extractive industry whose companies are registered in British tax havens or Switzerland. The decades of African debt servicing has lubricated the wheels of the IMF`s big roller, while they cannot afford to educate or feed their next generation.
President Putin announced at the Summit that Russia is cancelling $23 billion in African debt.
Chatham House reports that the Russia-Africa Summit was poorly attended by heads of state, will not produce results, did not foster friendship and was nothing much other than a ploy by President Putin to win favour . One could even read between the lines that Africans were in Russia to beg for grain. Western media continues to publish untruths about the Black Sea grain deals.
Let us `Fact Check` the Chatham House report. They write that “Of the 49 African countries that sent delegations to St Petersburg for the second Russia-Africa summit on 27–28 July, only 17 heads of state attended.” There are 54 countries in Africa which means over 90% sent either heads of state or high level delegations.
Presidents of the following attended: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Uganda, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, Libya, Senegal and Mali.
Vice Presidents who attended: Namibia, Nigeria, South Sudan
Prime Ministers who attended: Ethiopia, Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco and Tanzania.
Deputy Prime Ministers: Malawi and Somalia
Cabinet Ministers of the following countries attended: Angola, Benin, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Zambia, Tunisia, Sudan, Seychelles, Rwanda, Somalia, and Madagascar
Contrary to Chatham House`s report that Burkina Faso was singled out for a private discussion with president Putin, at least 5 presidents and their delegations held one to one talks with their Russian counterparts as can be seen here:
During the discussions with President Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo, President Sassou Nguesso described his journey to attend the Summit, a journey no doubt similar in mishaps and hurdles to many other heads of states attempts to travel to Russia! President Sassou Nguesso found his plane landing in Dubai instead of Russia due to the airline ( not specified but probably Air France) having problems with its insurer. Friendship with Russia is dangerous and potentially costly as experienced most recently by South Africa. So alarmed is Washington by Ramaphosa`s attendance in St Petersburg, they sent their regime-changer in chief Victoria Nuland to Pretoria.
Chatham House reports that African leaders are ambivalent about the war in Ukraine. For one thing they are threatened with sanctions if they declare NATO as the instigator of the war. And if they were ambivalent why would African leaders, represented by Presidents Ramaphosa and Macky Sall ,have devoted so much time and effort to pushing forward their plan for negotiated peace. This is the first and most welcome international intervention by Africa which has no representation at the UN Security Council despite being comprised of 54 nations.
“Today, the African continent plays an important role in solving global and regional problems. And it will only increase,” said the Chairman of the State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, and added that Russia and African countries “are equal allies and partners”.
The Chatham House report chose an image of President Putin with Burkina Faso`s interim president, Ibrahim Traoré , who they scathingly referto as a `junta leader`. In doing so the authors of that report display their utter ignorance and contempt for the mentor of IbrahimTraoré , for the one man who has become a guiding light for not just every single Burkinabé but every single African that knows his story. In fact it is not just Africans who revere and immortalize that man, Thomas Isadore Noel Sankara.
Nothing do they know or understand of what it meant for Ibrahim Traoré to speak his heart to Vladimir Putin in person, in Russia. Nor for what it meant for the president of Mali to finally be able to meet Vladimir Putin in person and no doubt to thank him for saving his country from the French backed jihadists whose presence strengthened the longer Operation Barkhane occupied Mali. Do the authors of the Chatham House reports know about Modibo Keita and those halcyon first days of the Malian Republic, hell-bent on monetary sovereignty and industrialization? That desire for its own currency was the crime that Mali has been paying for ever since.
The translation of Burkina Faso means `The land of upright men`. In terms of the governments of the West, we currently cannot find any `upright` men, or women.